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Tell No Lies

Tell No Lies

3.6 15
by Julie Compton

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Jack Hilliard has the perfect life. A family man with two young sons and a supportive wife that he has loved since the day they met, he’s also on the verge of being elected District Attorney of St. Louis. As secure at home as he is in the courtroom, he has plenty to fight for and nothing to hide.

But everything in Jack’s life is not nearly as perfect


Jack Hilliard has the perfect life. A family man with two young sons and a supportive wife that he has loved since the day they met, he’s also on the verge of being elected District Attorney of St. Louis. As secure at home as he is in the courtroom, he has plenty to fight for and nothing to hide.

But everything in Jack’s life is not nearly as perfect as it seems, as he learns when he finally admits to being attracted to one of his old friends and colleagues, Jenny Dodson. Jack tries hard to put his feelings for her aside, but his attraction develops into an obsession that he can’t control. What should have been a terrible mistake never to be repeated turns into even more when Jenny is accused of the murder of one of her clients, and Jack is her only alibi. Now Jack’s in the painful and precarious position of being trapped between saving a friend and protecting his family.

Julie Compton’s searing debut novel, Tell No Lies, is as much a whodunit as it is about why—-why does Jack Hilliard do what he does, even when it seems he can’t win, why does Jenny Dodson let him, and why is human nature as much about love and conviction as it is about trust and betrayal?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

St. Louis ADA Jack Hilliard has it pretty easy in attorney Compton's less than assured debut. Jack is married to a beautiful and intelligent law professor; he's also the protégé and assumed successor to his influential boss and mentor, DA Earl Scanlon, and is considered by his peers to be an all-around charismatic and upstanding man, both in and out of the courtroom. But all that is hearsay: Jack, for the life of him, keeps making the same mistakes and placing himself again and again in compromising situations-on purpose. In a bid to become district attorney, Jack sidesteps admitting his anti-death penalty stance in order to get elected, then he falls for his campaign treasurer, Jenny Dodson. When Jenny is accused of murder, will Jack provide the alibi that could save her life but wreck his career? Despite Compton's efforts to make Jack sympathetic, many readers will have a hard time caring about a lying, cheating jerk. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Newly elected St. Louis district attorney Jack Hilliard seems to have it all until an old friend is suspected of murder. Her alibi is Hilliard, who just happened to spend the night with her even though he is happily married. Some readers will like this debut by a practicing attorney for its fluid prose and insight into the legal system, but it does not break any ground in the legal thriller genre. [A Minotaur First Edition Selection; see Prepub Mystery, LJ1/08].

—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
A lawyer's life is dramatically changed by a series of ethical dilemmas. Jack Hilliard has a wonderful wife, two children and a job he loves as assistant DA of St. Louis. When his boss moves to a lucrative new position, he suggests that Jack would be perfect for his job. Jack is hesitant-his position on the death penalty makes him an unlikely candidate-but his boss and the party bigwigs suggest he can finesse his opposition without actually lying. His wife, another lawyer, is doubtful, but his old friend and confidante Jenny Dodson, to whom he has been attracted ever since they worked at the same law firm, pushes him to abandon his principles and accept the challenge. Feeling that the job would give him numerous opportunities to do good, he puts aside his doubts and wins the election. After an alcohol-fueled kiss leads to a night with Jenny, Jack's life is set on the road to destruction. Jenny, who recently revealed a horrifying secret, is arrested for murdering one of her clients on the night Jack was with her. Although Jenny begs him to hold back for the sake of his marriage and career, he goes to the police to provide her with an alibi. Soon enough, his dubious decisions come back to haunt him. Compton's debut is a taut, tense cautionary tale complete with courtroom drama and a surprise ending.
From the Publisher

Tell No Lies has all the requisites of legal thrillers including courtroom dramas and lawyers' behind the scenes work… Compton proves she has real storytelling skills. Tell No Lies' final twist is as stunning as that classic surprise in Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent.”

Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Compton’s debut is a taut, tense cautionary tale complete with courtroom drama and a surprise ending.”

Kirkus (starred review)

“Readers will like this debut by a practicing attorney for its fluid prose and insight into the legal system.”

Library Journal

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.21(d)

Read an Excerpt

Tell No Lies

By Compton, Julie

Minotaur Books

Copyright © 2008 Compton, Julie
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312648466

Chapter One
Jack drove his car a little too fast out of the parking garage, his tires screaming as he rounded the coiled curves of the down ramp. He fum­bled with the radio, looking for a song to match his upbeat mood, all the while keeping his eyes ahead and his left hand on the steering wheel. A slight grin graced his face, though he  wasn’t aware of it.
That morning, the jury had returned a verdict in the most publicized murder case he had ever prosecuted. The case had been hard fought for two weeks, and he had worried about the outcome until the very  end— even after his boss, Earl, came to hear closing arguments, complimenting him afterward, and even after a few of the jurors smiled at him on their way back to the jury box, just before the verdict of guilty was read. But Earl’s belief that juries loved Jack Hilliard proved true again.
He’d called Claire as soon as he returned to his of.ce. She’d listened and laughed with him as she always did, asking certain questions that only another lawyer would know to ask. Before they hung up, Jack announced that, for the .rst time in weeks, he’d be home in time for dinner.
Now he was already past the Innerbelt, far enough out of the city to smell the suburbs, fragrant with freshly cut grass and the overgrown lilac bushes thatbloomed untamed near the  off- ramp into Clayton. When his cell phone rang, he answered without bothering to look at the caller ID.
“Hiya, babe.”
“Gosh, Jack, I never knew you felt that way about me.”
Jack felt his face redden. “I thought you  were Claire,” he said. Even though he’d known Jenny Dodson for almost nine years, and he’d reached the conclusion early on that she talked this way to everyone, her .irta­tiousness still unsettled him at times.
“Obviously,” she purred. “Hey, Mr. Hilliard,” she said then, speaking his surname in an intimate tone that transformed it into her own pet name for him, “I hear you won your case. Congratulations.”
He smiled. “I did. How’d you hear?”
“Are you kidding? It was the top story on the .ve  o’clock news. You’re famous again.”
“Yeah, so what am I doing hanging out with the likes of you?” he said, laughing.
“I won’t dignify that with a response. Will I see you tonight? I’ll buy you a drink to celebrate.”
“Tonight?” But as soon as he said it, he remembered. The bar associ­ation was having its annual awards dinner, and Earl, the St. Louis District Attorney for more than thirty years, was to receive an award for his dedication to public service.
“Damn, I completely forgot about it.” Earl hadn’t mentioned it after the trial, Jack knew, because he hadn’t wanted to take away from his mo­ment of victory. One of the many reasons Earl was a great boss, and also one of the reasons Jack had to go to the dinner.
“Were you heading home?” Jenny asked.
“Yeah.” He sighed. “But I’ll be there. Why are you going?”
“You forget easily, Mr. Hilliard,” she chided. “Not every lawyer in town has had the good fortune to jump ship from a big .rm to the secu­rity of the DA’s of.ce. I still have to .sh if I want to eat. It always helps to do a little mingling with the other sharks in town.”
Both knew he hadn’t exactly “jumped ship” from Newman, Norton & Levine. It was more like he’d been thrown overboard. But he had landed a plum job. Although he shared the title of Assistant District Attorney with twenty- four other lawyers, only Jack was seen as Earl Scanlon’s protégé.
“Should be an interesting night,” Jack said. “I’m sure his  old- time bar association buddies plan to roast him.” His mind drifted to the new logistics for the eve ning. “Listen, I’d better hang up and call Claire. She’s gonna have to try to .nd a sitter. I’ll see you tonight, okay?”
“Okay. Don’t forget, .rst drink’s on me. I’ll see you tonight, babe.”
She hung up before he could respond, and he shook his head and laughed, knowing she’d be pleased with herself for having found a way to tease him one more time about his earlier mistake.

Excerpted from Tell no lies by Julie Compton.
Copyright © 2008 by Julie Compton.
Published in May 2008 by St. Martin’s Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Excerpted from Tell No Lies by Compton, Julie Copyright © 2008 by Compton, Julie. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Julie Compton, a debut novelist, practiced law in St. Louis, Missouri, and most recently worked as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. She now lives in Florida with her husband and two daughters.

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Tell No Lies 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
SoDak65 More than 1 year ago
Throughout the book, we are subjected to the hero's every waking thought. That made the book very boring, and typical of female authors. Male readers want a little action, and not continuous feelings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now Kids, never Tell Lies!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unique story. Can't wait to read book 2!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Jack Hilliard is the fair-haired boy of the St. Louis DA's office and with the imminent retirement of his boss is on the fast track to become his successor. With the perfect family he's living the charmed life, but soon that dream existence becomes a nightmare and as he spirals downward he wonders if he will ever see the light again. It's a rare author who's words on a page can deliver such intense emotional feelings in her readers. And that's exactly what you'll find in Julie Compton's debut novel Tell No Lies published in 2008. Julie gives us a realistic story line with her politico/legal drama. Her dialogue is vivid and witty interspersed with dramatic court-room legalese, dialogue so intense you will find yourself exhibiting the same emotions as the characters in this prosecutory emotionally charged novel. And oh my, her characters, they are wonderful, interesting, realistic and three dimensional. They make the story and as she introduces us to each one it becomes obvious as their importance in the telling of the tale, especially her charismatic protagonist Jack as this story is mostly his. Her scenes are described with such precision that you can easily imagine yourself a fly on the wall. There are some love scenes that she handles with dignity and raw emotion. If you love great fiction, awesome storytelling, brilliant dialogue and phenomenal characters I think this novel will fit the bill. If you're a fan of court-room or crime drama, this is it. If you love literary fiction it's here too. If you just want to escape in some one else's make believe troubles and wallow in their dilemmas this is what you want. Be sure to check out Julie's brand new novel Rescuing Olivia.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Fellow ITW Debut Author, Julie Compton, begins her writing career in fine style with a fast moving, quick read. What begins as an innocent kiss, takes a turn with deep reaching consequences. Without giving the story away, I'll say that the story's protagonist, Jack, is in for a soul searching ride. Torn between two options ¿ both damaging and potentially devistating to his career and family ¿ he will let his conscience guide his actions. A good solid read with authentic courtroom action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was the wordt book ever.it sucked.spoiler alert the girl dies
Booker01 More than 1 year ago
The main character, Jack, is someone we can all relate to on some level in that he strives to be a good person by doing what's "right" in a world that does not always reward such behavior.

Jack's attempts to make "good" decisions while struggling to come to terms and deal with life's daily demands of job and family, pressures to compromise personal beliefs in order to succeed, and a unavoidable physical tempatation(a hottie at work Jack lusts after - great sexual tension scenes) makes for a very intriguing character. Add in the plot involving a murder mystery with a twist and you get one of my favorite books this year.

I found myself admiring, hating, and feeling sorry for Jack all in the same book. We discussed at my book club and it was interesting how readers either end up hating or loving Jack - no one in between.

Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminds me of a book called six grade secrets in which there is a girl and she starts a secret club and the only way you can get into ths club is if you have a write of passage and the only way you can get that passage is if you have a tribute. Anyway there was a girl the leader of the club who actully never told a lie not even once and she was cute. But there were people that were well what should i say jelous of her because of her beauty and the club was called pig city. Now let me tell all of you ladies out a story i am 13 years old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On the nook, can u please make a chat room option so we can chat w/out distracting costumers. I wanna chat with my friends w/out distracting or using the book review areas.